There’s no better car to go cruising around New York City than a Miata, especially with the top down – it’s a perfect car for sightseeing. For the second time this month I had an opportunity to drive all the way to NYC and my Miata has made me fall in love with the city again and again.
I think people living in New Jersey take NYC for granted. It’s so close and yet a world away. It’s not always easy to get to even though we live in the best country in the world our transportation system sucks. I think many see it as a chore making the effort to go to the city. It’s not cheap or terribly convenient. When taking public transport, the expense, the traffic the crowds – suck. Or driving your own car and paying more for the tolls than anyone could really justify ($15 bux!!!), dealing with traffic, the gridlock, the pot holes big enough to blow a tire or crack a rim – destroy your alignment, the lack of parking and the ease of earning a ticket from the NYPD… it all adds up to avoiding the experience altogether.
But what an awesome city New York is! My job sent me to check out some vehicles they wish to purchase from their NYC affiliate with headquarters in the South Bronx. A very quick 20 minute ride with no traffic from my office in Hackensack across the George Washington bridge and down the Major Deegan past the Yankee Stadium. The garage was only a few blocks away from Bruckner Expressway I took to get to the Third Avenue bridge on my way to Long Island when picking up the RX-8 donut for my car. This time I noticed something new along the way: beautiful street art, graffiti. And it was a perfect backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot. I popped a u-ey, backed up onto the sidewalk, and snapped away… before the parking cop shooed me away:
So it turns out that part of the Bronx is called Port Morris. Definitely not the most dangerous part of town as the South Bronx is typically portrayed in the media with countless crimes, dangerous gangs and stolen cars left on cinder blocks or torn apart in the chop shops. It was a beautiful experience.
From there I decided to go home via Manhattan again, taking the FDR down to 42nd street and cruising along with the top down across town admiring NYC architecture along the way. From the beautiful facade of the Grand Central, to the art-deco style of the Chrysler building, the hussle and bustle of Time Square and of course the very touristy area of 42nd Street. Loved the experience of driving with many of the tourists checking out the car and taking pictures of it. It was great. I gotta do this more often!
I <3 New York
PS. The Miata is a perfect Motorsport Tourism vehicle so long as there’s a party of 1 travelling without luggage (on account that the RX-8 donut takes up most of the trunk space). Next time one of my marshal buddies visits NYC I’m definitely taking them for a ride in the MX-5.
During my last trip to Singapore for the Grand Prix I got chauffeured around in a beautifully modded and meticulously maintained Mitsubishi Evo, complete with a custom paint job, sweet looking rims and a massive exhaust that makes you feel like you’re going fast even though we never went above the speed limit (I don’t think).
That was a thrill! I’m sure most other Motorsport enthusiasts travelling to Singapore for the race, especially those with deeper pockets wouldn’t mind shelling out some cash for a similar experience, perhaps in an exotic car. Singapore is full of them, and now you can book one on Uber.
My buddy David forwarded this e-mail to me from Uber Singapore announcing their exotics rental:
Cool beans, right?
Yea, sure! Though, compare the Uber service to the company that actually offers the rides for them: Dream Drive
Dream Drive advertise a 30 minute package for $468 SGD when you drive yourself (they spend 15 minute on the introduction to the car and you get 30 minutes of solid driving of that car, presumably with someone riding shot gun keeping you in line and making sure you stick to the service agreement). You get a 20% discount if you allow them to drive you, which is about $375 SGD. Or for the sake of our comparison, it is $35 less than ($200 flag down fee + $7x30min) what Uber advertises. Decent deal, until of course you factor in rush hour and surge pricing, as well as all the other clean and dirty tricks Uber usually resorts to that allow it to be in the news, constantly. Not to mention the fact that you cannot pre-book your shiny yellow Lambo via Uber before you arrive in Singapore and have to rely on the app on location (basically, at the mercy of availability).
I’m quite happy to see this service being offered despite some of the flaws I see with the concept, because it promotes Motorsport Tourism and I’m all for people enjoying themselves when they travel to watch the races out there, be it Singapore or anywhere else. And I hope that the educated consumer actually pre-books their exotic ride if it really means that much to them (compared to a spur of the moment decision where obviously your Uber app will be potentially most helpful to separate you from your money). And since Uber generally charges 25% of the total ride charge for their service, it’s a good benchmark when selling my consulting services. Though I’m sure I could do it for less. Thanks Uber!
PS. the best way to enjoy the car culture in Singapore is over a delicious local meal:
According to Entrepreneur.com “Adventure Club,” “Adventure Travel Agent,” “Community Tour Guide,” and “Specialty Travel” are the buzz words in today’s HOT customized & personalized Travel Industry. And thanks to their collective wisdom I’d like to offer a service some die-hard Motorsport enthusiasts may find valuable.
Introducing Motorsport Tourism NYC
I am conveniently located in the New York City Metropolitan area. There is a variety of Motorsport events on the calendar to satisfy everyone’s needs, from Club and Sports Car Racing to IndyCar and NASCAR, to Moto events and private track rentals.
I offer Consulting, Concierge and Chauffeur Services which I will explain in detail below. Service rates are reasonable and competitively priced so don’t hesitate to contact me for a quote.
- Organize Itinerary
- Optimize Frequent Flyer/Hotel Loyalty Program benefits
- Event Tickets and VIP passes
- Accommodation Booking
- Rental Car/RV/Sports Car/Exotic Car Booking
- Airport Meet & Greet Service
- Transportation Services
- Entertainment & Foodie Experience Planning
- Circuit/Paddock Tour Guide Service
- NYC Sightseeing
Ports of Entry:
- JFK – John F Kennedy International Airport (NY)
- LGA – LaGuardia Airport (NY)
- EWR – Newark Liberty International Airport (NJ)
- TEB – Teterboro Regional Airport (NJ)
- HNP – Westchester County Airport (NY)
- SWF – Newburgh International Airport (NY)
- NYC – New York Penn Station
- NWK – Newark Penn Station
- New York Cruise Terminal
- Bayonne Cruise Ship Terminal
- Mazda Miata MX-5 Roadster (1 pax)
- Lincoln Town Car L-series (4 pax)
- Chevrolet Suburban SUV (6 pax)
- Ford Econoline Club Wagon (10 pax)
- Royale Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousine (8 pax)
Circuits & Racetracks
- Airport Meet & Greet
- Transfer to and from the Circuit
- Circuit/Paddock Tour Guide Services
- NYC Sightseeing Services
Packages are competitively priced and completely customizable based on the client’s needs.
Click here to discuss your travel needs in detail with Russ Golyak
About Russ Golyak
Russ is a passionate Motorsport enthusiast and a volunteer safety marshal. While currently based in NYC he has lived in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore while pursuing his Motorsport hobby. Currently he has volunteered in 13 countries and more than 30 circuits for everything from F1 to MotoGP. Russ is also an avid traveler and a foodie and constantly seeks new experiences around the world, especially when they work hand in hand with his Motorsport hobby.